Daily Express
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF EAST MALAYSIA
Established since 1963
Another NGO formed to fight for bumis' rights

Published on: Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: A newly-registered non-governmental organisation Pertubuhan Angkatan Gabungan Rakyat Asli Sabah (Agaras) has pledged to champion the basic rights of people in Sabah, particularly the bumiputeras.

Its President Michael Frederick said the NGO has no political agenda in defending the rights as well as interests and needs of the people in Sabah are well attended to and not being exploited by unscrupulous quarters.

He said Agaras also aimed to be a platform and a 'mediator' between the people here and the government in addressing current and perennial issues faced by the local communities in Sabah.

"The Registrar of Societies (RoS) approved the establishment of Agaras on Aug 22 this year after we applied on Aug 18 and we have appointed 20 members to be in the main committee.

"Another main objective of Agaras is to empower the people in Sabah irrespective of their religion, race, culture and political affiliations in the State," he said.

Michael said this to Daily Express after receiving a certificate of approval for Agaras from RoS Sabah Director Matthew ak Dominic Barin at its headquarters at Menara MAA here on Wednesday.

He said the organisation was created to empower people in the State especially the bumiputeras and to ensure the relevant authorities are attending to the issues they are facing.

"Prior to forming the organisation, we have heard and saw all kinds of issues faced by the people especially on land matters and the Malaysian identity card (ICs) issue that has yet to be resolved.

"Hence, we feel there is a need to create Agaras, which is a KadazanDusun word for strong, or gallant, which led us to name the organisation in line with our struggle for the people," he said.

Michael said the organisation is also willing to work with other NGOs like Partners of Community Organisations in Sabah (Pacos) and Persatuan Anak Negeri Sabah (Pansa) to fully address the existing issues that are yet to be resolved.

He said the organisation does not have branches but it has five zones namely North West Coast, South West Coast, Keningau Interior, North East Coast and South East Coast.

In another aspect, Michael said the organisation would also offer assistance to Sabah students who are facing education issues like having a problem with admission to government schools and will also carry out charity works.

Those who wish to join Agaras or need help can contact him at 013-8589888, his deputy Simon Pius Ariffin at 019-8231699 or its secretary Winni Juani at 014-3728660.